Monday, November 24, 2008

I love the experience of having a God breakthrough. I had yet another one this week-- less personal, so I thought I'd share. Our highly esteemed Rev. DBurke was sharing about pain. No easy topic. I found myself throughout the talk frustrated and fighting against my own questions.

Yes, all pain will one day be redeemed. This we are promised (Rev 17:17).

Yes, one day we will know in full what today we have only known in part (1 Cor 13:12).

But what about the circumstances and individuals that God says that he loves (Romans 8:37)-- and I believe Him!-- yet do not know the end to suffering. How am I to bring light of the love of God in someone's life who has experienced inexcusable pain done to them. How can I speak of redemption when it is someone else's sin that has brought such abuse into their lives??


Yes, he is the Sunday School answer. As of Tuesday I understand why He is the answer to this question as well. DBurke walked us through a very troubling story of abuse. How one woman who had been abused beyond description had to walk right into the depths of the abuse to encounter Jesus. There, in the depth of the sea of her hurt, she was asked by this professor of DBurke's to picture Jesus in the room in the midst of her suffering. Then she was to picture Jesus walking towards her. Then, in the very act of abuse, she was asked to picture Jesus taking her place. The substitutionary sacrifice.

Now I get it.

Jesus not only provides redemption for us in the eternal sense (Heb 9:28). The provision of his death not only covers our sins (Romans 6:1-4). The provision of his suffering is also substitutionary for the sins caused against us (1 John 2:1-2 + the truth of living in the reality of the kingdom of God now-- a whole other discussion per Dallas Willard). He takes on this suffering. He died that we might have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10)! He has already, continues to, and will take on the suffering of the entire world. So to you who is experiencing more than your share of heartache-- you whose entire sense of today has been shaped by abuses of your past-- you who are looking ahead to months with a diagnosis of pain-- know that Jesus died that you might know now Christ himself and the redemption his death has purchased.

He cares for you so much.

Rev 4:8 "And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"

May we all say this in amazement.